Sir Ian Botham is ready to offer Adil Rashid a lifeline if he leaves Yorkshire after the row over his England Test selection — by signing him for Durham.
The England legend, 62, thinks the criticism of the leg-spinner’s selection for the India Test series is ludicrous.
And the Durham chairman will sound out Rashid over a move to the North East, if his fiery relationship with Yorkshire is irreparable.
Adil Rashid’s selection in the England Test squad has been a divisive and controversial pick
Sir Ian Botham is ready to offer the leg-spinner a lifeline if he leaves Yorkshire after the row
‘We will see what he does but we will definitely talk to him, of course we will,’ Botham said of the 30-year-old’s future.
‘It is very competitive out there and everyone wants to get out of the second division. We won’t do it this year but we’ll do it next year with the way we are going and the way we are restructuring.
‘We need to make it a side that people like Adil Rashid will look at and say, “It is only up the road and I can see where they are going and I would happily go there”.
‘We have got to make ourselves attractive to guys like Adil Rashid.
Botham supports Rashid’s controversial England inclusion for the first Test against India
National selector Ed Smith carefully explained the logic behind returning to the leg-spinner
‘I have very little sympathy for anyone who is having players poached because we have just lost five. I really couldn’t care and if I can get in on the act I will.’
Botham supports Rashid’s controversial England inclusion, which was confirmed on Wednesday but angered Yorkshire because Rashid refused to play red-ball cricket for them.
And after losing the likes of Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jennings to perceived bigger counties, Botham does not pity Yorkshire.
‘It is very hard to have much sympathy for Yorkshire,’ Botham added. ‘I have lost players — we have lost five key players at Durham — who have been poached around the north. I say poached and I stick by it.
‘I have seen some pretty ridiculous stuff written over the last couple of days,’ Botham said
‘I have seen some pretty ridiculous stuff written over the last couple of days and I am very much on Adil’s side. I find it quite bizarre. Adil wanted to play white-ball cricket, he has bowled exceptionally well and in the last two series he played in Test cricket he bowled very well.
‘I hope he does really well — I like the kid — he is very intense, always wanting to get better with his bowling. His bowling has come on leaps and bounds so I wish him all the very, very best.
‘It is the best conditions for him. The pitches are going to be dry and I am pretty certain he will get purchase out of them and Edgbaston does turn anyway.’
Rashid has excelled in the shorter formats of the game and his selection was ‘unanimous’
Sir Ian Botham was speaking at the launch of his new wine range, Botham Wines. Visit bothamwines.com